(CNN)- Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has announced that she will not seek reelection in 2012. Hutchison, who was first elected to the Senate during a special election in 1993, is also the first woman senator from Texas.
"I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2012," Hutchison said in a statement. "That should give the people of Texas ample time to consider who my successor will be. In the next two years, you can be assured that I will pursue my duties, and my responsibilities to our state and people, with the same vigor that I have employed during my Senate service."
Hutchison, who failed in her bid against Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a challenge to win the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nomination, decided to serve out the final two years of her Senate term - even though she pledged during the gubernatorial primary that she would retire.
She remarked on her decision to remain a Senator through 2012 in the statement.
"The last two years have been particularly difficult, especially for my family, but I felt it would be wrong to leave the Senate during such a critical period," Hutchison said. "Instead of putting my seat into a special election, I felt it was my duty to use my experience to fight the massive spending that has increased our national debt; the government takeover of the our health care system; and the growth of the federal bureaucracy, which threatens our economy. I will continue that fight until the end of my term in 2012."
Fellow Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn - who also heads up the National Republican Senatorial Committee - said in a statement regarding Hutchison's decision, "It has been an honor and privilege to serve with Senator Hutchison in the United States Senate. Kay has dedicated much of her life to serving Texas, and our entire country, and I am enormously grateful to be able to work alongside a woman of her vision, a woman of her energy, and someone who represents the very best of the State of Texas."
The Democatic Senatorial Campaign Committee also quickly responded to Hutchison's announcement:
"The 2010 cycle was full of surprises and it turns out 2012 will have some twists and turns as well: the first Senate retirement is a Republican," DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz said in a statement. "We look forward to running a competitive race in Texas as the Lone Star state is now one of several Democratic pick-up opportunities next November."
Not sure how to even answer this. Another moderate kicked out of the "big" tent.
No loss. Next story please.
..... and yet 2012 can't get here fast enough! Texas would be better off without you and Perry.
The Pubs could fine I hope a Rubio type young Hispanic Pub and they will hold that seat. Of course, if Perry runs, he will hold the seat too. America does not need another liberal Dem Senator. That already is bankrupting our nation.
Sometimes it's time for people to RETIRE!! Let the new blood in.
Just try, DSCC. Not only did Governor Rick Perry (a Republican) win re-election in Texas, but the Republicans defeated Democratic House of Representative Incumbents like Solomon Ortiz, Chet Edwards, and Ciro Rodriguez. The Democrats will put up a hard fight and waste a lot of money, but by God's grace, they will lose!
What's this.about the third time she has said this.
Kay Hutchison was not conservative enough for the GOP, so under the bus she goes! The Palinist Purge continues!
Sad to see one of the of the very few moderate-leaning Republicans in Texas hanging them up. Hope Bill White runs for the seat as he originally planned to before running for Governor and losing.
and enriching herself in the process. The pay, benefits and other perks question whether any of it is really public service.